by frank Lucci
Friday before WWE’s latest PPV I was preparing a very depressing intro where I talked about how many shots of black rum I would need to get through even writing the preview for TLC, let alone how much booze would be needed to watch the show. I was thoroughly in Seaman Frank mode, especially when Mayoral Candidate Kane burst through the ring on Raw. At that point I was so salty I was thinking about another gimmick change to Salt Man Frank, the worst Mega Man boss of all time. I was truly a broken and beaten man.
“BAH GAWD THAT’S VIRAL INFECTIONS MUSIC! WHAT’S HE DOING HERE ON RAW???!!!”
Yes, it is very tragic and sad that many WWE Superstars are sick enough to warrant keeping them home and isolated from the rest of the roster, but I do not think anyone can pretend for a second that this has made TLC about 1000% more watchable (Sure they are pretty much throwing many prominent storylines out the window, but c’mon would you rather have bad but logical storylines or Kurt Freakin’ Angle?). Plus throw in Asuka’s debut (which was going to be the sole highlight before all this) and this has a chance to make everyone forget, just for a little while, all the doom and gloom surrounding the WWE these past few weeks. And if things get boring, well, you can always watch Rusev play Madden. I’m Seaman Frank and here are my TLC 2017 Predictions!
Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox (Honey BBQ KFC DLC Scrappy Doo Slugfest)
This match comes after Fox got her first t-shirt after almost a decade of employment in the WWE, and it is great if you are a furry and crap for everyone else. She is coming out of nowhere to take on Banks, who seems to be doing important things (winning, losing, and then challenging for the women’s belt since SummerSlam) and nothing at all (losing or disappearing from television frequently).
Really, there is no reason for this match to happen, but hey there are only six matches on the main show so maybe this will get bumped up and we will have three women’s matches on a PPV. If people are sick you might as well take advantage of the moment and give the ladies and cruiserweights a shot. Sasha wins and Foxy disappears again until she is needed to act crazy at someone.
Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher vs. Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann
This match promises to be pretty exciting, especially if they get a decent amount of ring time to tell a story. With Nevile most likely gone from the company and rumors swirling that many superstars are unhappy, some have put two and two together to say that this is WWE’s attempt to pacify the cruiserweights.
It remains to be seen if this is just people piggybacking on Neville’s departure or legit gripes talent has, but at least for this PPV the division has a chance to shine. All four men are unique talents and can potentially steal the show, though it remains to see seen if the audience cares about this battle. Side note: can Alexander and Swann be a proper team outside the cruiserweights? That would be awesome. Team Swaxander wins in a cool little bout.
Kalisto (C) vs. Enzo Amore (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)
I am not sure what the WWE is trying to do with the cruiserweight title, as they brought in Enzo and got people talking. Then Neville quit and Enzo lost the title to colder than Antarctica Kalisto who is about as boring of a choice for champ as asking for towels for Christmas. I mean we should be happy for Kalisto, but shoving him straight to the top was misguided at best. Enzo’s momentum is gone, and whatever they wanted to do creatively with him is out the window.
So where does the cruiserweights go from here? I am guessing they swap the title back to Enzo like they did with Tozawa and Neville and then thrust a random person into the title picture. Gentleman Jack, maybe?
Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Mickie James (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)
I am excited for this match, besides the fact the build centers around Bliss calling James old. Seriously, Mickie James is 38 and looks amazing. I do not know anyone who says differently (STOP THIS NONSENSE WWE).
Anyway, it is about time they do something with James. She is very talented and could definitely be a boon to the division that needs some fresher faces in it. Plus she has already faced the debuting Asuka before down in NXT, so it is a good time to build her up so they can have a killer rematch. I get the feeling that Bliss is in a holding pattern until Nia Jax comes back from her sabbatical, so I am guessing she retains here and we get that feud soon after. Hopefully that feud does not fall into the same trap and WWE has Bliss call Jax fat…unless they bring in Scott Steiner as Bliss’ manager.
Asuka vs. Emma
Emma won the right to be murdered …err… face off against Asuka in the latter’s PPV debut.
This should be a doozy of a match, as before all the Shield hype this seemed to be the match getting the most hype. I truly hope WWE does not drop the ball here, and if Asuka loses her streak to a random person on Raw in three weeks I will drop kick my TV. These two had a superb match back in NXT, so I imagine this will be an exciting squash. The question will be when Asuka gets into the title picture and if mainstream audiences take to the Empress of Tomorrow. Asuka wins and continues the streak until ‘Mania where she squashes Goldberg and challenges Lesnar in the ultimate Kaiju Big Battle.
Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles
What was going to be the disaster between a pumpkin and a cross dresser has immediately been updated to The Demon vs. one of the best wrestlers in the world.
This has a ton of potential, and I think this could be the sneaky match of the night. Just let these guys work a Japanese-style match for thirty minutes and give the audience something to sink their teeth into (just don’t have Finn use the pumpkin facepaint. Just…no).
Also, I am praying that it does not turn out that Styles was Sister Abigail all along. I mean, that would be a hell of twist, but I would be terrified to hear AJ’s creepy lady voice. With Finn rumored to eventually face Lesnar and AJ facing the immediate opponent for The Beast I think Finn will go over here. AJ can survive the loss, and Finn needs some solid wins for people to care about his eventual push towards the Universal Championship.
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Kurt Angle vs. Cesaro, Sheamus, Kane, The Miz, and Braun Strowman (5 on 3 Handicap TLC Match)
Getting rid of Roman Reigns and replacing him with Kurt Freaking Angle is a godsend.
While before this was all just a way to drag seven different men into a situation to get people to cheer Reigns now is the return of a legend and a buffet of talented men ready to throw themselves into the mouth of madness. Still, there is some lingering problems here, such as why this is still a handicap match? I hope Braun is just like “nah I’m good” and leaves and Mayoral Candidate Kane just disappears forever.
At this point the match has changed so much they might as well just be like “our bad here is a regular match” and have Kane put over Braun. Since it seemed like a lock The Shield would win here before I am tempted to say they will win here, but I am going a different route. I think the numbers game will catch up to Team Sh-Angle, especially with the No-DQ setting. Braun or Miz get the pin on old man Angle and team Five Bar Miz-assic wn.